PR NEWS WIRE: All-American Rejects' Tyson Ritter Ages at the Hands of Makeup Effects Artist Tony Gardner

All-American Rejects' Tyson Ritter Ages at the Hands of Makeup Effects Artist Tony Gardner

Tony Gardner Creates Several Different Age Makeups for Catherine Hardwick's Heartbreaking Music Video for the Song "There's A Place," from her Toni Collette / Drew Barrymore film "Miss You Already."

When Director Catherine Hardwicke was dreaming up the concept for her music video for the song "There's A Place," a very moving song from her Drew Barrymore/Toni Collette film "Miss You Already," one of the biggest challenges was how best to illustrate the passing of time and love lost.

The song was written and performed by Tyson Ritter, the front man of the band All-American Rejects, and was written specifically for the film; Tyson is in the film as a love interest of Toni Collette's character.

As Tyson would be singing the song on camera within the music video, it was decided that he would in essence represent his film persona within the video, and gradually age from his thirties into his nineties during the course of the performance. A great way to illustrate the passing of time, but how to achieve all of this within one night of guerilla style film-making?

The answer: Makeup Effects Designer Tony Gardner, whose past prosthetic makeup challenges have included turning John Travolta into a buxom housewife for the film "Hairspray," and unleashing an elderly Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) on the unsuspecting public for Spike Jonze's "Jackass" films and the Oscar-nominated "Bad Grandpa." (Nominated for Special Effects Makeup, of course.)

Gardner and his team of artists at Alterian (www.alterianinc.com) had less than two weeks to create the prosthetics required for the three different stages of Tyson's prosthetic age makeup. "Having very little prep time seems to be the name of the game these days," says Gardner, "so you just have to ride the adrenalin wave and pull all the elements together as fast as you can before the clock runs out. Fortunately I had (fellow makeup effects artist) Hugo Villasenor with me on location to help make it all happen."

Tony Gardner is no stranger to projects with high demands. Director Danny Boyle came to Gardner to realize sequences from the film "127 HOURS," asking Gardner to design and create the prosthetic effects pieces that would allow James Franco to cut through and sever his arm on camera and in real time, and with complete medical accuracy. He's also had his share of odd requests, from creating robotic helmets for Daft Punk, to creating movie characters with a high list of demands.

"The weirdest meeting I can recall was for "Hocus Pocus," and went essentially like this: 'Can you design a 300 year old zombie who has his mouth stitched shut with leather cord, gets his fingers sliced off on camera, and his head knocked off and reattached a couple times? And while you’re at it, we also want to run over a cat with a bus and then have it reinflate on camera. ...and please make this all “kid friendly” of course, ….this is a Disney film.'"

Gardner continues, "Of course I said yes! Challenges like those are what I find exciting, and the more 'impossible' someone says the project might be, the more I seem to be attracted to it. For this music video, four stages of progressive age makeup filmed outdoors, and all within one single evening, definitely qualified as one of those projects."

Time was definitely the major challenge, as was the complexity of the final stage of prosthetic makeup. To solve the issue of the three hour application time for the 90-year-old version of Tyson, it was decided that Tony and Hugo would start that makeup while the sun was still up, and time the completion of the makeup to sunset, so filming could start literally the moment the sun went down.

"Working in reverse order was the only way to make this work," said Gardner, "Subtracting prosthetics from Tyson to make him younger was faster than adding prosthetics to make him older. The biggest challenge was peeling of the 90-year-old neck and replacing it with the 75-year-old neck while also swapping out all of the hairpieces for what we called his 'Neil Diamond look," all within the two hour timeframe alloted."

Gardner added, "We had until 5:00am or so to get everything on camera, that's when sunrise would end our day. Thankfully we had (Producer) Jamie Holt on this to help manage our time wisely, and keep things moving at a fast pace - she was a godsend."

"The entire process was a great experience, and actually very emotional to film... something I wasn't expecting, really, and very rarely experience. The shoot was a labor of love from the entire crew, and I think that it really shows on screen. Tyson was amazing to work with, and made it look effortless to pull of everything he had to do: hours in the makeup chair, lip syncing to playback only he was wired to hear, and pulling off an emotional performance all at the same time. And Catherine was pretty brilliant in regards to how she used what little light there was and even the local residents to add richness and life to what's onscreen, and never made anyone feel rushed or stressed. The 'impossible project' really turned out to be quite the dream job."


Katy Perry Lately: Makeup Effects Magician Tony Gardner transforms Katy Perry into five of the World's Worst Party Entertainers for her latest music video

Makeup Effects Magician Tony Gardner transforms Katy Perry into five of the World's Worst Party Entertainers for her latest music video, "Birthday," with amazing results

Katy Perry Goes Undercover for her Birthday and Wreaks Havoc

n the new video for the song "Birthday," Katy Perry achieves something amazing, successfully disguising herself as five unique characters and then crashing several birthday parties and one bar mitzvah.

Playing the "World's Worst Birthday Entertainers," a list of which includes a scantily clad elderly Las Vegasstripper, a male Jewish MC, an alcoholic clown, a mouse-eating animal trainer, and an artistically challenged face-painting princess--she successfully wreaks havoc on everyone's lives, and gets away unrecognized.

Filmed over the course of three days, the video succeeds thanks to the makeup effects artistry of Tony Gardner, whose other milestones include turning John Travolta into a buxom housewife for the film "Hairspray," and unleashing an elderly Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) on the unsuspecting public for all of the "Jackass" films to date, including the Oscar-nominated "Bad Grandpa."

Gardner credits Katy Perry for the makeup's success: "Working with someone like Katy, who's as confident as she is creative, is extremely liberating," said Gardner. "Collaborating with someone so willing to lose themselves into the makeups, and have no vanity, makes it possible for me to really push the character's design and layer a lot of detail into each character's appearance. Add her fearless performances to that, and all of those characters succeed in coming to life as real people in the real world."

"It takes guts to walk out cold into the world as Goldie, a ninety year old showgirl with full body prosthetics, or as Yosef, the pudgy male MC character with chest hair and a mustache, and then perform in character in front of a room full of strangers and try to elicit a response. She makes it look easier than it is."

Gardner and his team of artists at Alterian (www.alterianinc.com) had less than two weeks to create the prosthetics required for the four makeup effects characters. "Having very little prep time seems to be the name of the game these days," says Gardner. But the challenge presented by those limitations is exactly what he finds most energizing.

And Gardner is no stranger to customers with high demands. Gardner helped Daft Punk realize their robotic selves and then bring those chromed characters to life, functional LED read-outs and all. And Director Danny Boyle came to Gardner to realize sequences from the film "127 HOURS" that involved James Franco having to sever his arm on camera in real time with complete medical accuracy.

"What others might cite as 'problems' or 'limitations,' I look at as 'challenges,'" says Gardner. "And those challenges quite often inspire you to approach things from a different and new perspective, which might lead to solutions you would have never even anticipated otherwise."

"Time was definitely our major challenge with the 'Birthday' music video characters, though, on the days filming as well as during the pre-production design and manufacturing." All in all, Katie spent over 15 hours of the video's three day shoot in the makeup chair getting in and out of the makeups, five of those being the hours required for Goldie's full body prosthetics. And a children's birthday party has its own schedule to keep, guest performer or not."

"The entire process was a great experience, and I'd love to see Goldie make a come-back some day ...or go on tour with Katy," said Gardner, adding, "she was definitely a charmer."


DICKHOUSE.TV: Tony Gardner and The Bust of Irving Zisman

In the final lap to the Oscars, in which a little ol' movie called Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is nominated in the "Best Makeup & Hairstyling" category, here's a look at the man who has been behind the prosthetic design of Irving Zisman since 2001: Tony Gardner of Alterian, Inc. Tony, still riding high on the Alterian crew's win at the recent Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards, stopped by the office yesterday to present Johnny Knoxville with this eerily lifelike sculpt of Irving. Who knows, maybe if we take the Oscar (fingers crossed!) he'll come by with a full-body life-size nude of Gloria for Tremaine. Perchance to dream!

(Photo by Sean Cliver; 2014)


THE PLAIN DEALER | "Hairspray" effects man from North Olmsted transforms Travolta

North Olmsted native Tony Gardner creates John Travolta's fat suit for 'Hairspray'

Plain Dealer Reporter
If John Travolta were a plus-size, middle-age woman, what size bra would he wear?
The answer is lost to history. The man in a position to know -- "Hairspray" makeup-effects designer Tony Gardner -- didn't jot it down. "Once we were into triple letters, I kinda lost track," he said.
Gardner created the fat suit that transformed Travolta into Edna Turnblad, the overprotective, foodaholic mom of Tracy Turnblad in "Hairspray." The movie adaptation of the musical opened Friday.
Gardner is co-owner and lead designer for Alterian Inc., an Irwindale, Calif., company specializing in makeup and animatronic effects. Alterian worked on movies such as "Shallow Hal," "Three Kings" and "Adaptation." It is also behind the Geico cavemen commercials and upcoming television series.
But "Hairspray" is Gardner's biggest movie job so far. When Gardner, 42, was hired, the producers told him if Edna didn't work, they didn't have a film. "The pressure was on in the very, very beginning," said Gardner, who grew up in North Olmsted.
Travolta said he wanted to look like a curvy girl who grew up to be a mom. Gardner frequently e-mailed rough drafts of possible looks to the actor. "He's the one who has to wear it," Gardner said. "Everything he said was great."
The effects staff started work about three months before filming began. In early 2006, Gardner and his crew flew to Travolta's home near Orlando to do a life cast. Travolta stood on a tarp in his garage, which houses his extensive car collection, while effects specialists wrapped his body with plaster bandages to make a cast. He sat to have his head and shoulders covered with a masklike substance.
Later, fiberglass duplicates made from the plaster bandage mold and mask were formed into a full-standing duplicate body.
Gardner designed a body suit filled with a lightweight synthetic material, with pads overlaid like shingles to add heft. Silicone was used from the chest up; it had the added bonus of covering Travolta's beard. "I didn't want the guy growing through makeup in the middle of the day," Gardner said.
The first suit made Travolta look like "a dumpy, Alfred Hitchcock version of Edna," Gardner said. Validation came when Travolta, in character and makeup, greeted his fellow actors during a rehearsal in Toronto. No one recognized him. Then the actors broke into applause.
"It was what I needed as an artist and what John needed as a performer," Gardner said.


STRAIGHT.COM l 127 Hours makeup and special effects artist Tony Gardner makes Alex Pettyfer Beastly

127 Hours makeup and special effects artist Tony Gardner makes Alex Pettyfer Beastly

 

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